Today, after a few weeks of eating fantastic food at my house (thanks mom!) I ventured out with two of my college besties (minus one other best!) for an amazing dinner.
Right now our city is participating in “Londonlicious” which is, indirectly born from the SARS epidemic.
Many moons ago only a few places in the world were affected by the deadly respitory disease, SARS. One of them was Toronto. To get in good again with the tourists the bright folks of TO decided to start a promotion called “Summerlicious”. Great restaurants would offer a three course menu to folks for a fraction of the cost…needless to say our family hit this hard.
As with most TO ideas, it eventually trickled down to our city, and thus “Londonlicious” was born.
I’ve been to a few of the restaurants over the past couple of years and it is hit and miss. Some restaurants see this as an honest to goodness opportunity to open their doors to a new clientele by giving them a chance to test out the restaurant in the hopes that they will return. Others see it as a cash grab and this is reflected in their fare.
Flashback…January 2010…Tru restaurant…normally a dinner for two can run over $100 (easily). This time? $30 for 3 courses. In a word: crap. We were seated in an area completed isolated from other diners (some form of division between those that pay full price and those who don’t???), and abandoned by the server. The food was…meh. Nothing to write home about. And dessert was horrible…it looked as though it had been prepared the week before in an industrial kitchen in Brantford (reminiscent of my days at Timmy’s).
I was not impress. Tru, you will not be receiving my dollars for your full menu price. We were out the door in just over an hour.
Flashforward: January 2011, Auberge du Petit Prince.
This restaurant is in a fairly odd place in town. It is in the downtown, but the portion of the downtown that is near the methadone clinic. It’s situated in an old house, and when you go inside decorated in a French-Parisienne type theme. And not the type of cheesy theme with the mustachioed French guys and red and white table clothes. It was nice, and I was surprised (this is a good thing). Bonus: they had a few small display cases at the register with jewlery and other baubles. Note to self: my grams would love this place. The service was awesome and we had a great visit during our 2 1/2 hour meal. And the kir royale was delicious…
On top of the nice decor (who doesn’t like a nice decor?) the food on the Londonlicious menu was fantastical. I had a great cauliflower soup (even though I am a staunch hater of cauliflower, this soup was very good…could have been the blue cheese and heavy cream that made it awesome, though…). Followed by a seafood crepe. Crepes should be their own food group. You can do breakfast, lunch and dinner with them. I LOVE CREPES.
And finally came dessert. It’s a French restaurant. Take one giant guess what j had. YES! If you guessed “creme brulee” you would be correct. For those of you who don’t know, creme brulee and I go waaay back. I love it and it loves me. I consider myself a connaisseuse of the dish, if you will. Ever since my first experience with it in Montreal during a trip with my mom and papa at the tender age of 18 I have fallen in love with the taste, texture and sound (yes sound) of a GOOD creme brulee. (FYI: to test the sound of the creme brulee hit the top with the back of your spoon. If the sound reaches your ear without you having to bend down or it catches the attention of other diners take notice: YOU HAVE AN AMAZING SOUNDING CREME BRULEE).
I have had creme brulee in a lot of place, if it’s on the menu I’m ordering it. I’m pretty picky about my creme brulee, temperature of custard, thickness of sugar, carmelization and colour all come into play.
The Auberge did not disappoint. It was a thick custard with a thick layer of torched sugar. Not runny at all. Definitely in my top five. Sound quality was good (but the spoon quality could have been better).
Ch-ch-check it out.
p.s. Worst creme brulee? “Fred’s Not Here” in Toronto. Runny as snot.